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Sustainable Farming - with the ethical Butcher

Sustainability is the ability to exist constantly. In the 21st century it refers generally to the capacity for the biosphere and human civilisation to coexist. It is also defined as the process of people maintaining change in a homeostasis balanced environment, in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations.

This is not good enough for us, we take things a step further.

Throughout the history of agriculture many practices have not been sustainable and much damage has been done to the planet, what we now need is the ability to heal this damage while at the same time producing food that nourishes us.

There is a new movement of regenerative agriculture, these are systems that repair this damage restoring natural systems and making the systems that support us less brittle to change.

Regenerative agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems. It focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, enhancing ecosystem services, supporting biosequestration, increasing resilience to climate change, and strengthening the health and vitality of farm soil.

Practices include recycling as much farm waste as possible and adding composted material from sources outside the farm.

Principles include:

• Increase soil fertility.

• Work with whole systems (holistically), not isolated parts, to make changes to specific parts.

• Improve whole agro-ecosystems (soil, water, and biodiversity).

• Connect the farm to its larger agro-ecosystem and region.

• Make holistic decisions that express the value of farm contributors.

• Each person and farm is significant.

• Make sure all stakeholders have equitable and reciprocal relationships.

• Payment can be financial, spiritual, social, or environmental capital ("multi-capital"). Relationships can be "non-linear" (not reciprocal): if you do not get paid, in the future you can be given other "capital" by unrelated parties.

• Continually grow and evolve individuals, farms, and communities.

• Continuously evolve the agro-ecology.

• Agriculture influences the world.

Regenerative agriculture on small farms and gardens is often based on ideologies like permaculture, agroecology, agroforestry, restoration ecology, keyline design, and holistic management. Large farms tend to be less ideology driven and often use "no-till" and/or "reduced till" practices.

On a regenerative farm, yield should increase over time. As the topsoil deepens, production may increase and fewer external compost inputs are required. Actual output is dependent on the nutritional value of the composting materials and the structure and content of the soil.

Animals are crucial to this system and we source as much as possible from farmers using these practices, our base level is sustainable, our gold standard is regenerative.

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